⏰Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

📕Gen 18:1-10a; Ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5 (R.v.1a); Col 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42


I hope that you are following, very well, the sequence of Jesus’ formation of his disciples since he began his final journey to Jerusalem. First of all, he made effort to clarify the wrong image they had of him, telling them that he is a suffering Messiah, thereby inviting them to carry their crosses and follow him. Later on, he sent these disciples ahead of him to go and preach the Gospel. Last Sunday, he informed us that the content of their message to the people must be love. That love was shown, through the parable of the Good Samaritan, to be one that counts nothing but the good of the recipient of the one in need.

Today, attention is shifted to another practical love – hospitality. In our contemporary era, when you are making a long journey, it is sometimes expected that you stop over at some point to rest and get refreshed. This must be the kind of opportunity that Abraham offered to the three strangers in the First Reading. He immediately provided for their welfare and got blessed thereafter.

This is exactly the same action that Martha carried out in the Gospel, and we expect that she be blessed as well. But no! It would seem from the answer of Jesus to her that she is not even appreciated. While this is not to be seen as exactly the case, it is important to understand the context of Jesus answer to Martha in relation to the blessing of Abraham in the First Reading.

Note the reference that Jesus made to what is NEEDED (cf. Luke 10:42). The three men in the First Reading were on a journey, and needed to rest a bit and get refreshed. That was exactly what Abraham offered them. But here is Jesus, who was on his way to Jerusalem, where death awaits him. Being fully human, he must have been weighed down by the pain of the impending passion. So what he needed at that time was more of a listening ear and a compassionate heart more than a dining table. That was why Mary was considered as having chosen a good option.

However, let us not be distracted about those details and miss out the message. The point is on SERVING GOD IN THE WAY HE WANTS US TO SERVE HIM. We all have different gifts and vocations. Some are called to be prophets, others teachers, etc (cf. 1 Cor 12:28), but all to the same purpose of uniting all things in Christ. No one call is better than the other insofar as the person who is called is not unnecessarily distracted by the vocation of the other.

Have you been able to discover what God calls you to do for him? Is that vocation you embraced the right one for you, or did you choose it in imitation of others? Are you serving God the way HE WANTS to be served or the way YOU WANT to serve him?

Consider the position of Mary in that scene as something very important for us to discover what God wants of us. She was seated at the foot of Jesus. That is a sign that she submitted herself under the authority of Jesus and was ready to focus on him alone, listening to his voice alone, and not being distracted by worldly affairs.

You don’t need to be a contemplative to be able to do that. St. Paul was an itinerant preacher but he was focused on Jesus. That was why he was still joyful despite his sufferings.

We equally need that same joy in our service of God. So we pray that God may not allow the affairs of the world nor our selfish interests to distract us from following Christ faithfully as he wants us to follow him. Amen

Have a faithful and joyful Sunday. Peace be with you.

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